A COLD CASE

Philip Gourevitch, Author . Farrar, Straus & Giroux $22 (224p) ISBN 978-0-374-12513-4

In 1970, a New York criminal named Frankie Koehler killed two men in cold blood, then disappeared. Over the decades, he was all but given up for dead. Nothing haunts a cop like loose ends, however, and 30 years later lawman and fugitive at long last crossed paths. Basing this book on his article of the same title, New Yorker staff writer and NBCC and L.A. Times award-winning author Gourevitch revisits this case. Gourevitch's first book (We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families: Stories from Rwanda) dealt with the Rwandan genocide and that region's judicial vacuum; the scope here is smaller but, as Gourevitch shows, murder is a seemingly inescapable aspect of the human condition. In clean prose, the author follows former NYPD officer Andy Rosenzweig (now an investigator with the Manhattan D.A.'s office), who, like Koehler, was raised on the streets of postwar New York, a city that has all but disappeared except in the hands of capable writers. And Gourevitch lets his near-perfect pitch dialogue do much of the work. "I wouldn't kill anybody for money under any conditions.... That's a scumbag does that," Koehler says. The only jarring moments in this otherwise elegant and restrained narrative are the sudden intrusions of the pronoun "I." This residue of New Yorker style reminds readers that the material is not entirely fresh. But that is a minor complaint, for as Rosenzweig says, quoting a fellow officer, "Who speaks for the dead? Nobody. As a rule, nobody speaks for the dead, unless we do." Gourevitch has secured a place next to Rosenzweig in that lonely and all-important choir. 12 b&w photos. (July 11)

Forecast:Thanks to the reputation Gourevitch established with his first book, this will be widely reviewed. During July and August, he'll do promotion in New York City; after Labor Day, he will embark on a five-city tour. This will sell handsomely.

Reviewed on: 05/21/2001
Release date: 07/01/2001
Show other formats
FORMATS
Paperback - 194 pages - 978-0-312-42002-4
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-57511-110-0
Ebook - 224 pages - 978-0-374-70268-7
Ebook - 224 pages - 978-0-374-70271-7
Hardcover - 192 pages - 978-1-4472-6255-8
Open Ebook - 192 pages - 978-1-4299-8110-1
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-330-48505-0
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.